9 May 2023

Landlord obligations - five things your tenants require from YOU

By Ella Reynolds New Business Account Handler
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As the new tax year begins, it’s likely that as a property landlord you’ll be doing a bit of admin “spring cleaning” right now. And while landlord and buildings insurance should be a priority, there are a few more vital elements to add to that “to do” list. In order to make sure that your property portfolio is efficient and in the best position to grow in 2023 and beyond, while also ensuring your tenants live in a compliant environment, we’ve put together our top five “essentials” for landlords.

1. Provide a safe home for your tenants

To keep your tenants as safe as possible while on your property, you must adhere to fire, gas, and electrical regulations, as well as furniture regulations, while maintaining the property to a good standard.

Don’t forget! To demonstrate the energy efficiency of your home, you’ll need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is required by law for a property rental.

2. Proof of regular safety checks

To comply with health and safety rules, you’ll also need to carry out regular checks and keep records of these. That’s not just part of the off-book “good landlord” code of decency – it’s also essential if needed to show as evidence for your tenants, or for landlord insurance purposes.

As a property landlord, you’ll need to do the following on a regular basis:

  • Keep any gas or electrical equipment in good working order
  • Provide a gas safety certificate and electrical safety certificate
  • Ensure the boiler is annually serviced and signed off
  • Provide smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are fitted and maintained.

If your tenants were sourced via the local council, they have the right to ask the council to inspect your property. And council representatives can also choose to carry out an inspection if there’s a chance your property could be hazardous. This is called a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and you’ll need to comply with all of the above points.

3. Protecting your tenant’s deposit

Most landlords will ask for tenancy deposits as a way to protect against any damage you may have to rectify when your tenant moves out. This money usually amounts to four to six weeks rent and must be held “in escrow”¹ to avoid disputes. If there’s any issue at the end of the tenancy, both you and your tenant have a robust legal process to help you come to an agreement.

As the landlord, it’s your legal responsibility to place this money into a government approved scheme for Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP).

4. Understanding the rights of tenants

Your tenants have certain rights and protections in place when they rent from you. If this is your first time as a landlord, these are very much your eight commandments.

Your tenants have the right to:

  1. Sign a tenancy agreement with you to manage expectations from both parties
  2. View your property’s EPC so they can budget for utility bills
  3. Protection from unfair eviction
  4. Rent protection from unjust rate rises
  5. Live in a home that’s safe and well-maintained – if you don’t carry out repairs on health hazards, they can report you to the council or take you to court
  6. Get their deposit back at the end of the tenancy, as long as they’ve met their responsibilities as a tenant
  7. Live undisturbed by you, unless you ask to carry out an inspection or repairs
  8. Claim for rent abatement (a reduction in their rent payments) during long-term or disruptive repairs.

Your right as a landlord to access your rental property 

Your tenants’ rights have a knock-on effect on your own. You must give them at least 24 hours’ notice before requesting an inspection or before entering your rental for repairs. The only exception to this is if there’s an emergency and the repair needs to be carried out straight away.

5. Managing rent arrears

Renters have been hit hard by increases in the cost of living and other economic challenges, and as a result, some landlords have looked at new ways to support their valued tenants in times of difficulty.

Rent freezes are one of the options landlords have chosen to give their tenants, while some landlords have also agreed flexible rent arrears repayments when their tenant has fallen behind. As much as you may want to help your tenants in their time of need, you’ve got to make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t jeopardise any future eviction processes if needed.

Last year we spoke to Solicitor and CEO of Woodstock Legal Services, Carly Jermyn, and she shared her advice for landlords looking to provide manageable rent arrears repayment solutions. She commented, “If you’re able to agree a rent repayment plan, then make sure that it’s well documented”.

On the topic of unclear or unconfirmed repayment agreements, Carly stated “it’s quite hard when you do have to go to court, if it’s not really clear as to who owes what, or what’s due to be paid when, which can lead to complications, a reduction in the amount recovered and delays in the legal process.” She goes on to say, “At the moment we’ve still got the ability to use Section 21 Notices, so if you can serve a Section 21 notice, you could do that as well to protect your position.”

You can get the full video interview by clicking here you where Carly shares a host of landlord legal tips with the Protect My Let landlord insurance specialist, Kevin Meek.

And we couldn’t end this without reminding you of one of the most important aspects to being a property landlord – adequate property/building insurance! To ensure that you and your tenants are fully covered, you can submit an enquiry here, or why not get a quote today?


¹a bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party and taking effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled.

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You can find further useful information, get in touch with a member of our team, or submit an enquiry on our Landlord Insurance page.



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